Why should international companies prioritise a sovereign cloud in Germany?

Data plays a central role in today's digitally networked business world. It is the backbone of business decisions, innovations and daily operations. For internationally active companies working in or with Germany, the choice of cloud service provider has not only technical or economic implications, but also legal and strategic ones. A key element in this discussion is the US CLOUD Act (Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data Act) and its potential impact on data sovereignty and security. In this context, the idea of a sovereign cloud is becoming increasingly important in Germany.

The CLOUD Act and its significance

The CLOUD Act is a US federal law that enables American authorities to access electronically stored data, regardless of whether this data is stored on servers within the USA or abroad. This law therefore also affects companies that operate outside the US but use US cloud services. It poses a direct challenge to the data protection requirements and sovereignty of European companies' data, particularly with regard to the strict regulations of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the European Cybersecurity Directive NIS-2.

 
Why a sovereign cloud in Germany is important

Data protection and compliance

Germany is known for its strict data protection laws, which have been further strengthened by the GDPR. A sovereign cloud that operates according to German data protection standards offers companies a level of legal security that is difficult to achieve when using cloud services outside the EU. Compliance with the GDPR is significantly simplified as data is processed and stored within the legal borders of the EU.

 
Data sovereignty

A sovereign cloud enables companies to retain control over their data. This is particularly important in a context where access to data by foreign governments - as enabled by the CLOUD Act - is a potential threat. A cloud solution based in Germany minimises this risk by ensuring that the data remains under the jurisdiction of European data protection laws.
 
Trust and reputation
For internationally active companies, the trust of their customers is crucial. Using a sovereign cloud in Germany signals a strong commitment to data protection and data security. This can strengthen a company's reputation and increase customer confidence in its services.
 

Economic and strategic autonomy

Dependence on non-European cloud providers - regardless of where the data is physically stored - harbours the risk of geopolitical influences and economic dependencies. A sovereign cloud in Germany offers companies greater autonomy and protects them from possible access by foreign laws and governments that could affect their operational activities.
 

First conclusion

In view of increasing digitalisation and the central role of data in the global economy, choosing the right cloud service provider is a strategic decision for internationally active companies. The US CLOUD Act raises questions of data sovereignty and data protection that cannot be ignored. A sovereign cloud in Germany offers a solution that both fulfils the legal requirements and strengthens customer trust. It enables companies to maintain their data sovereignty while protecting themselves against geopolitical and legal risks. In a world where data means power more than ever, sovereignty over this data is crucial for the long-term success and independence of internationally active companies.
 

 
BUT:

The discussion about a sovereign cloud in Germany goes far beyond pure data protection and concerns about the US CLOUD Act. Two other key aspects that should be considered in this context are the role of local managed services and the importance of cybersecurity. The implementation of a local, sovereign cloud infrastructure not only provides an answer to legal and data protection issues, but also enables IT management processes to be optimised and cybersecurity to be strengthened, which is invaluable for companies operating internationally.
 

 

Local managed services

Local managed services play a crucial role in the operation of a sovereign cloud in Germany. These services include cloud infrastructure management, data management, application operation and maintenance as well as support services, all of which are provided by locally based providers. The advantage of local managed services lies not only in the geographical proximity to the customer, but also in the in-depth knowledge of local regulations, language and business culture. This leads to improved communication and a better understanding of the specific needs and requirements of German and international companies operating in Germany.
 
In addition, local managed services enable closer collaboration and a faster response time in the event of enquiries or problems. This can be particularly crucial in crisis situations when quick decisions and actions are required. Local service providers can also offer customised solutions that are tailored to the individual requirements and challenges of companies, which may be more difficult to achieve in a globalised cloud solution.
 

 

Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is a constant challenge in today's digitalised world. A sovereign cloud in Germany can make a significant contribution to this by complying with the highest security standards and continuously developing them further. The local management and operation of the cloud infrastructure makes it possible to implement specific security measures that meet the strict German and European data protection and security requirements.
 
This includes protection against cyber-attacks, which is ensured through the use of advanced security technologies and regular security audits. Local providers also often have better access to national security resources and networks, which improves the exchange of information about threats and the response to security incidents. A German-based cloud infrastructure can be designed to be resilient to outages and attacks, further increasing operational security for organisations.
 

 

Conclusion

The introduction of a local, sovereign cloud in Germany not only offers internationally active companies a solution to meet legal and data protection challenges, but also strengthens the local economy by utilising local managed services. This combination promotes a closer customer relationship, improves service quality and increases flexibility in customising to specific needs. At the same time, it contributes to a significant improvement in cybersecurity by relying on local expertise and implementing security standards aimed at protecting sensitive data. Overall, a sovereign cloud in Germany thus offers a comprehensive approach that goes beyond data protection and prioritises aspects such as local support and cybersecurity, which is crucial for the success and security of internationally active companies.

 

The Author:

Michael Kral
Sales Director, Orange Business - Digital Services, Berlin
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